Point #24 – Professional Profile
The first step to be taken before setting up your social media accounts is to create a powerful professional profile based on the brand you want to establish. Write it, edit it, set it aside, let it perk for a few days, review it, rewrite it, edit it again, proof it, have someone else proof it, and then (finally) post it.
With some platforms (not all) an announcement is sent out to your followers/groups when you update your profile – so you want to have it as close to “right” as possible.
Let’s look at LinkedIn as an example. The majority of people use the following procedure in setting up their account on LinkedIn. They set up the account, enter some basic information in the profile area, establish a few connections, and log off.
The next day they check it out, find a typo in the profile, and correct it. All their connections receive a notice that the profile has been updated.
A few days later, they add their photo and education. Their connections receive another notice. And . . . so on.
How do you think connections/followers respond to all these updates? It is hard to say, but they may stop paying attention after the third or fourth update.
To prevent this overload of “updates,” it is very smart to establish a complete profile when you open an account. In other words, create a solid profile early on before you have a lot of “friends,” “peeps,” and similar connections. Then, update it only when you want to give it a complete overhaul, a new look, or something significant has changed in your life. That practice will ensure that only significant updates are being sent and not small changes and corrections.
- Create your professional profile. Create one that is fairly robust (master profile), from which you can extract shorter profiles. Every social media venue allows profiles, but some ask for brief summary statements and others allow more detailed information. Your master profile is basically a condensed resume that is hopefully easy to read and engaging.
- Things to include in your “master” profile:
- Employment (current and past) and Industry. (If you are currently unemployed and looking for work, list your current position as “Open to opportunities.”)
- Professional Photo (preferably a head shot)
- Professional Summary – highlight key points of your experience (Avoid extensive detail)
- Keywords and Skills (Use keywords throughout your profile). Profiles are searchable fields and people are searching for experts in the industry.
- Contact Settings. Your contact settings let your connections and recruiters know how to contact you.
- Links. Typically these are links to personal blogs and company websites.
- Public Profile URL. Make your profile your name if you are using this social profile for personal branding. Otherwise, make it your business name.
- Signature. Create a LinkedIn signature to use in your email – another way to increase the visibility of your profile.
Take time to create your profile – don’t fly by the seat of your pants. Be sure to edit and proof it several times. Have someone else do the same. You will read what you think is there (it’s difficult to edit and proof your own work.) A second pair of eyes is also a good way to ensure clarity. Be sure to ask someone to help you who is a good writer and will tell you the truth. Remember this is a “professional profile” that has the potential to be read by thousands of people.